Radial neuropathy
ICD-10 G563
ICD-9 354.3
OMIM [1]
DiseasesDB [2]
MedlinePlus [3]
eMedicine neuro/587
MeSH {{{MeshNumber}}}

Radial neuropathy (or radial mononeuropathy) is a type of mononeuropathy which results from acute trauma to the radial nerve that extends the length of the arm.

It is known as transient paresthesia when sensation is temporarily abnormal.

Cultural references[edit | edit source]

Saturday night palsy is a colloquial term for it.

Presentation[edit | edit source]

Symptoms vary depending on the severity and location of the trauma; however, common symptoms include wrist drop (the inability to extend the wrist upward when the hand is palm down); numbness of the back of the hand and wrist; and inability to voluntarily straighten the fingers.

Causes[edit | edit source]

There are many ways to acquire radial neuropathy.

The term Saturday Night Palsy refers to nerve damage that can occur if a drunk person falls asleep with the back of their arms compressed by a bar edge, bench back, or like object. Radial neuropathy is also called honeymooners palsy, since it can be acquired by sitting with an arm draped over the back of a neighboring chair (or movie-theater seat) for a long time.

Both Saturday night palsy and honeymooners palsy refer to the fact that the nerve damage is generally forewarned by arm pain to a degree that only excessive love or liquor would drive a person to keep their arm in such an uncomfortable position.

Breaking the humerus and deep puncture wounds can also cause the condition.

Improperly sitting in a chair for several hours such that the armrest compresses the underside of the forearm is another potential cause.

Prognosis[edit | edit source]

Radial neuropathy is not necessarily permanent. Peripheral nerve regeneration is an imperfect and slow process, and full restoration of ability may take months, years, or may never occur.

Notable cases[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

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